NEWwbztv-small wbz-am-small 985-small mytv38web2

TALE OF THE TAPE

NCAA Tournament First Round: #6 UCLA Vs. #11 Minnesota

#6 UCLA
#11 Minnesota
Oregon v UCLA - Pac-12 Championship
Big Ten Basketball Tournament - First Round
Coaching
Winner Ben Howland has a distinguished career, highlighted by three trips to the Final Four, but his status is up in the air at UCLA, as athletic director Dan Guerrero has given him no public assurances.
Tubby Smith had a national championship on his belt before being unceremoniously run out of town in Kentucky. This looked to be his most promising season with Minnesota, but the Golden Gophers have been sliding.
Offense
Winner Once known for the Big East, ground-and-pound sort of attack, Howland switched things up and went more showtime. Shabazz Muhammad and Jordan Adams combined brilliantly for more than 30 points a game, but now that Adams has a broken foot, the attack is more limited.
The Golden Gophers thrive on bullying their way through a half-court game, which can be punishing for opponents but still a little feeble from an offensive standpoint. Minnesota ranked 149th in points per game.
Defense
Once a Howland staple, the Bruins have slipped some on defense since their deep tournament runs a few years ago. While it still hasn’t reached lockdown mode, UCLA’s team defense improved considerably after late February.
Winner All year long, Minnesota has guarded the rim and the perimeter with sound rotations and efficiency. Opponents have managed just 61.7 points per game against the Gophers.
Bench Depth
The loss of Adams really hurt UCLA’s depth chart, now that bench stalwart Norman Powell has to fill in with starter’s minutes. David Wear has been dependable for them in a sixth-man type role.
Winner Depth is clearly one of Minnesota’s strong suits. Lately, the Gophers have been running nine deep, getting significant contributions from Maverick Ahanmisi, Elliott Eliason, Joe Coleman and the other Hollins – Andre.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

Oregon v UCLA - Pac-12 Championship Big Ten Basketball Tournament - First Round

UCLA. Minnesota has the weapons to dance for a while, but entering the tournament after losing seven of their last 10 games is a worrisome sign – something UCLA’s higher-octane offense should capitalize on.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Chicago Bears At New York Jets

    While Jay Cutler lacks consistency, he is capable of taking over any game and carrying the Bears with his strong arm when he gets on a roll.

  2. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Pittsburgh Steelers At Carolina Panthers

    The Steelers are a veteran team that should understand how to play in a big game, but they appeared unprepared for their Week Two game with the Baltimore Ravens.

  3. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Kansas City Chiefs At Miami Dolphins

    The Chiefs picked it up quite a bit in losing a 24-17 decision at Denver, and that should be encouraging to Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith.

See All Tales of the Tape
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,019 other followers